4 Nov 2011

No golden apple yet for exporters to Australia

7:24 am on 4 November 2011

Some apple exporters say the re-opening of the Australian market has been a failure and they have been forced to cut their losses.

When a 1921 ban on exporting apples to Australia was lifted in August, the industry there estimated two million trays of New Zealand apples would arrive in the first year.

But marketing consultant Paul Dellabarca who represents some growers, says 20,000 trays is more realistic as the system is unworkable and too costly.

The Ministry of Agriculture & Forestry acknowledges there have been teething problems, with three consignments to Australia already rejected.

Pipfruit New Zealand says four of the 75 packhouses in New Zealand are approved to export to Australia and expects that will grow to 10 next year.